In 2021, Northwestern's tuition was $60,276 a year.
Tuition increased 7.09% in 2021–from $56,286 the previous year. On average, colleges raise tuition about 3% each year.
If these numbers sound impossible, remember, the "sticker price" of tuition doesn't tell the full story. Many students pay way less than the total tuition after grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts are applied. Plus, student loans can make the amount you do have to pay for college more manageable until after graduation.
Northwestern University is a private, nonprofit institution, so it has the same tuition for residents of Illinois as it does for residents from other states.
Public colleges and universities receive funding from the state government. Public insitutions often offer a lower cost of attendance for those who qualify as Illinois residents.
Attending a school where you are eligible for in-state tuition can drastically reduce the cost of tuition, as well as loans and interest owed. Don't forget to check your state's guidelines for how to qualify for in-state tuition. Each state has different requirements to qualify as in-state resident. The most common requirement is that students must have lived in the state for a full year before starting school. There may be additional requirements as well, depending on the state you and your parents currently live in.
Northwestern has the same tuition for international students as for those from out of state.
International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but should research private or school-specific grants, scholarships, and other funding opportunities.. International students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for the following types of financial support at Northwestern:
In addition to tuition, there are other costs associated with college, like room and board, facility fees, and books and supplies. Let's take a look at what impacts these costs, and what to expect at Northwestern.
Meal-plan costs may vary depending on how many meals are included in the plan you choose.
The cost of books often surprises first-year college students. The actual cost of books and supplies depends on the courses you take and what kinds of books and materials they require. To save money, many students choose to use books from the library or buy used textbooks and materials.
The majority of colleges charge some yearly fees to help cover the cost of facilties, like the library, gym and computer labs. Full-time undergrads at Northwestern can expect to pay around $492 in fees each academic year.
Keep in mind, there could also be optional fees associated with participating in special activities, like Greek Life, or participating in sports or other extracurriculars. Most colleges have resources for students who may struggle to participate because of cost can get help covering these fees.
The total cost of getting around in college can really vary. Will you drive, fly, or take public transportation to school?. Will you need to pay to park on-campus? Is the campus small enough that you can easily walk from class-to-class?? Do you own a car, or will you need to use busses, subways, or other modes of transportation? All of these factors can make a big difference in your estimated cost of transportation. At Northwestern, freshman are not allowed to park on campus.
A school's location can also have a big effect on transportation costs. Small, rural schools may be easier to get around, but the cost of getting to campus may be higher. On the other hand getting around in an urban area may be expensive, but cities may offer more trains, busses or affordable flights to actually get to school. The Northwestern University campus is in a suburban setting in Illinois, near Chicago.
When you're planning for college, don’t forget to factor in personal expenses, like going out to eat or see shows, furnishing your living space, and things like haircuts, clothes and, yes, even toilet paper and shampoo .
Now, let’s do a rundown of all of the costs associated with college, to get a better estimate of what is really costs to go to Northwestern.
|2021 Total Tuition and Expenses|
|Total Estimated Costs|
The breakdowns above provide a good estimate of the total cost of attendance before financial aid and scholarships. Tuition and fees may vary depending on program, course level, location, and more.
In 2021, 3,746 of the 8,194 undergrads enrolled received financial aid. Northwestern meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates.
The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $55,856 a year. Around 30.29% of Northwestern undergrads take out student loans to cover any remaining costs. Northwestern graduates who have student loans graduate with an average of $35,219 of student loan debt.
The average debt for each loan type varies.
|Average Debt By Loan Type|
|Most Common Loans for Northwestern Students|
Most students take out institutional or government loans, because they tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Loans from the federal government can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during school, while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest at the time the loan is issued. If students do no qualify for enough federal loans to cover the cost of tuition, some take out private loans. Parents can also take out ParentPLUS loans, which are government loans for parents who are helping their children pay for college.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps colleges determine how much financial need students and their familes have, so they can offer a financial aid package that meets, or come close to meeting, their need. For more information on Northwestern financial aid, keep reading, or visit their financial aid website.
Some students may receive grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back.
In 2021, Northwestern awarded 3,658 need-based scholarships to students, giving away total of $206.9 million to help students with financial need cover the cost of school. An additional $2.66 million in merit-based scholarship money was awarded to students without demonstrated financial need.
The net price of college is the actual cost of attending a school for one year. Net cost is calculated by subtracting any scholarships, grants or other aid that does not need to be paid back from the total cost. Student loans are not part of the calculation, because they need to be repaid.
Now that we have a sense of the total estimated costs for Northwestern students, we can subtract the average financial aid package to find the estimated net cost. Net cost can vary depending on a students’ need and the financial aid award received.
When considering whether a school fits your budget, it is important to consider the estimated net cost, not just the sticker price of tuition. Often, schools with the highest tuition also offer the most generous aid packages, so estimate your net cost before eliminating a school because it does fit your budget.
The average amount of financial aid received by a full-time first year student with demonstrated need at Northwestern was $55,856 in 2021. By substracting the average financial aid package from the estimated costs, we get a number that may make the cost of Northwestern seem more manageable.
|Estimated Net Cost for Full-Time Students|
What will attending Northwestern really cost you? The answer depends on several factors.
As of 2011, colleges are required to have a net price calculator on their website to help prospective students and their families make more informed decisions about the actual cost of attending that school, based on their financial situation. You can find the Northwestern's net cost calculator on their website.
Some students choose to use payment plans to make the cost of tuition fit more comfortably in their budget.
Northwestern does not have guaranteed tuition.
A Prepaid Tuition Plan is not available for Northwestern students.
Northwestern offers an Installment Payment Plan, which allows students to pay tuition in a series of smaller chunks instead of one lump sum.
Schools sometimes offer tuition waivers to certain groups, to offset the cost of attending. Some colleges offer tuition waivers for faculty, staff, and their families , underrepresented students, or military students. Even with a tuition waiver, other expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student.
Check the financial aid website for more information on payment plans and tuition waivers.
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